According to an official statement released by the publication on Thursday morning, Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward LeBron James has been named Sports Illustrated’s 2016 Sportsperson of the Year. While James and the Cavaliers certainly had quite the year in 2016, he is now a two-time recipient of the award as the heralded superstar also garnered the honor back in 2012.
James notably won his first NBA Championship back in 2012 while a member of the Miami Heat.
Now a 31-year-old, 14-year NBA veteran, James is currently in the midst of his third season back in Cleveland while it only took him two tries to bring home a title the second time around. After breaking into the league with seven years as a member of the Cavaliers, he notably took his talents to South Beach in order to team-up with longtime Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade and big man Chris Bosh.
However, after winning a pair of championships in Miami, it appeared that it was time to return home as James headed back to Cleveland for a second stint with the Cavaliers. In doing so, he led the Cavaliers to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2015 and 2016 while finally ending a city-wide drought last season.
The city of Cleveland, Ohio had not won a professional sports championship since the Cleveland Browns accomplished the feat all the way back in 1964. With arguably the league’s best player leading the Cavaliers to their first title in franchise history after overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to the Golden State Warriors, the team finally brought home the gold as James has now received even more praise from the likes of Sports Illustrated.